Wonders of Notre Dame

The front facade of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The front facade of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

One of the really cool things about Paris is that it offers things you simply can’t get in America. I love America. Hotels have WiFi in the rooms. Stuff is cheaper and the currency isn’t inflationary. Roads and drivers are normal. But there are no 850-year-old cathedrals. There just aren’t. The U.S. isn’t that old. The history of Paris is breathtaking, added to by the fact that you can go inside, underneath or climb up everything.

Today we toured the Cathedral of Notre Dame (See the gargoyles here: https://2weeksinparis.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/gargoyles-of-notre-dame/)

We saw the inside and climbed to the belfry, which offers a panoramic view of Paris. Notre Dame is the most incredible cathedral I’ve been inside. Walking in you are greeted by giant arches surrounding the mammoth floor, which can seat 10,000 people.

Notre Dame 4

Electric candelabras light the interior, with help from stained glass that remains from the church’s construction in the 1300s. A self-guided tour takes you around the outside walls where stained glass marks small chapels dedicated to saints, including Joan of Arc.

A statue memorializes Joan of Arc in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
A statue memorializes Joan of Arc in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
Stained glass in Notre Dame
Stained glass in Notre Dame

The cathedral still holds events and masses, including a concert the day we went.

Concert at Notre Dame.
Concert at Notre Dame.

The “top” activity at Notre Dame, however, is climbing the 387 steps to the summit of the belfry. No fear of Quasimodo, but there are gargoyles and on spectacular view from the top.

Gargoyles look over the city of Paris from the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Gargoyles look over the city of Paris from the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

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In back there is a large public park with activities for kids and a nice garden.

Notre Dame park.
Notre Dame park.
My grandma and I explore the rose garden behind Notre Dame.
My grandma and I explore the rose garden behind Notre Dame.
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
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